A bridge is a solution for our patients who have lost several consecutive teeth. Rather than replacing these teeth with a removable denture, we place a bridge of permanent replacement teeth. There are several different types of bridges, and they can be the best solution for missing teeth in a number of situations. If you have lost some teeth and want to learn about your options, Aspire Dental Spa can help. If we decide a bridge is the right solution, it will not take long for you to have gorgeous replacement teeth placed.
What Is a Dental Bridge?
A dental bridge is so named because it is similar to an actual bridge - it connects to natural teeth on either end and “bridges” the gap between those teeth. It can be used to replace one tooth, but bridges more commonly replace two or more. The replacement teeth in a bridge are carefully crafted to perfectly fit and to look as similar to your natural teeth as possible. A bridge is used when you are missing several teeth or have to have several extracted, but otherwise have strong, healthy natural teeth. If most of your teeth are gone or need to be removed, dentures or dental implants are the better option.
Unlike dentures, bridges are permanently attached and do not need to be removed. They may need to be replaced or repaired occasionally because no replacement tooth lasts forever, but they are quite durable. There are a number of materials that can be used to create these replacements, including various metal alloys, gold, and porcelain. The right material depends on what teeth we are replacing and your preferences.
Types of Bridges
The location of the bridge determines what type of bridge you need. If you have strong teeth on either side of the gap, a traditional bridge can be used. We will place a crown on each of the teeth on either side. This dental crown will connect to the bridge and help support it.
If you do not have a tooth on one side, we will use a cantilever bridge. This bridge is anchored to that single healthy tooth. While it is sometimes necessary, we typically try to find other solutions due to the amount of pressure placed on the single anchor tooth. Over time, that pressure may damage the tooth or cause it to shift out of position.
The third option is the Maryland or resin-bonded bridge. This bridge is attached to a special metal or porcelain support frame. While it is not held in place by natural teeth, it is attached to them to help hold the bridge steady.
The Bridge Placement Process
When you come in to have a bridge placed, we will schedule you for two appointments. The first visit will involve preparing your mouth and the supporting teeth. We will create impressions of your mouth to use to create the bridge as well as install the crowns on the supporting teeth. We will then place a temporary bridge so you will not be without teeth during the time it takes to manufacture the bridge.
At your second appointment, the temporary bridge is removed and the permanent one is placed. We adjust it and make certain you are comfortable. We may need to have you return for another follow-up to make certain the bridge is correctly placed.
If you would like to discuss getting a bridge, call Aspire Dental Spa at (216) 342-4388 today to book a consultation.